SEXIST and the City

Dammit! I said I wasn’t going to do this, and yet here I am typing away about what promises to be the worst film of the year – Sex and the City 2. Now, to be fair to myself, this isn’t entirely about the movie – in fact – the movie is merely a catalyst for this little rant. I haven’t seen the film, and honestly since the last one was so terrible, I have no plans to subject myself to its sequel. Even IF Liza Minielli is in it. No, this blog entry is about…well.. the problem with feminists. Hear me out.

A dear friend of mine sent me THIS ARTICLE rightly thinking it would interest me. And boy did it. The article claims that reviews of SATC2 are unjust and “sexist” because some reviewers are making horrible comments – not about the film itself, but about the actors looks. She goes on to call it misogynistic. Um…

Right off the bat I had a problem with the author of this piece. She obviously doesn’t know jack about cinema since one of her complaints about SATC2 was “overlong set pieces”. What the fuck does that even mean? She goes on to say, “Oddly, though, for a film written by a man, the critics’ insults were reserved for women, in a dazzling display of put-downs.” Beg to differ hun. In almost every review I have read the fact that the script SUCKS is written about, and written about a lot. Although SHE seems to be the only one pointing out that the script was written by a man. So, strike one.

She then complains that words like “greedy, faithless, spoiled, patronising . . . morons” are sexist and have nothing to do with reviewing the film. Sorry toots – gonna have to disagree with you again. The SATC franchise is built around 4 women, sex and clothes. Its in the fucking title. When a reviewer states: “These girls are so hung up on looking great they’ve forgotten there are several ways to be ugly.” it is a completely fair review of a film that bases entire plot lines around looks. Calling the Samantha character a “blonde slut” is not sexist, it is observant. Is it nice? no. And it ain’t sexist either. The film panders to women and women are buying it. I think if we are going to put on a day-glo halter and sleep with half of Manhatten, we can’t get upset when someone calls us a slut. We can’t go crying ‘SEXIST” every time someone calls us ugly. Heck, when the last Indiana Jones movie came out most film reviewers noted how OLD and WRINKLED and OUT OF SHAPE Harrison Ford was, but nobody said that was sexist.

The writer then proceeds to diminish any integrity she has by comparing SATC2 with the likes of Roman Polanski, and Lars Von Trier. She calls these men “rapists” and “famous misogynist”. W O W. These are two of the greatest directors of our time, but she boils them down stereo-types, which I guess is an alright thing to do as long as you are a woman.

Lars Von Trier is an amazing director and his films do in fact show brutality towards women – but if she thinks that is what his films are about then she is missing the point entirely. His films are centered around women. He LOVES women! He used his production company to spearhead “female friendly” porn! And, maybe she needs to sit down and watch “Dogville” which brutally shows the intolerance of American society. His films show how difficult women have it, and what it might be like to love someone with passion and intensity. And don’t get me started on Polanski! She says, “Reviewers do not appear to despise a real
rapist such as Polanski, but they do seem to despise four fictional women who are portraying mildly silly lives.”So, now we are supposed to DESPISE Roman Polanski – a man who has directed some of the most ground breaking cinema EVER because of his past. Thats a great idea. Even the victim says she had “gotten over it a long time ago“, and wants the charges dropped.

If being a feminist means that women are always right, and that I have to hate men for no good reason, or for someone else’s reasons – then I don’t want to join the club. Sometimes women are UGLY. It doesn’t make me a sexist to say so. What makes you sexist is to think that men are bad and women are awesome – even when they are not. Calling an actress ugly is not a crime. If you make a movie about looking good and being sexy and you don’t deliver then you had better brace yourself for the nastiness that will follow.

Now, I think I am going to watch Rosemary’s Baby. A movie that REALLY changed fashion, feminism and cinema. And was directed by that rapist.


4 thoughts on “SEXIST and the City

  1. Hi friend,
    To clarify, when I sent you the article I was curious what you thought of these characters being called “bitches, whores and sluts,” by journalists’ reviews; the review about looks, spec. Sarah Jessica Parker looking “equine-like” was just icing. The meat of what I was asking you about was summed up well by your friend Susanne on your FB page: “The reviews of the film ARE sexist because they are using terms that are sexist in a way that supports sexism. ‘Slut’ is a sexist term, whether or not you personally regard it as offensive …especially because it supports a double standard.”

    Perhaps the blogger who wrote this post didn’t get it all right, but the reviewer name calling is what I wanted to call your attention to.

    This part of your blog:
    “I think if we are going to put on a day-glo halter and sleep with half of Manhattan, we can’t get upset when someone calls us a slut,” is, in my opinion, reflective of how insidious sexism is. Not only should we be able to wear whatever the hell we want, sleep with whomever we want and not be called ANY names, no person, regardless of gender/race/sexual preference should ever accept an oppressive term as an accurate descriptor, as such acceptance serves to perpetuate whatever “ism” is going on in that moment. The blogger’s acknowledgment of that is why I felt her post had relevancy.

  2. I agree that people should be able to wear what they want, and sleep with who they want – and they are. But people are always going to call you names. I know from personal experience that when I go out in a tight top (and as you know, I have big boobs) I am going to be stared at and get comments. Does it stop me from wearing these things? No. And, I don’t adhere to the adage that “if you don’t want the comments, then don’t draw attention to yourself” either. BUT – I do acknowledge that the comments and looks come w/ the territory and I shrug them off, or give someone a stiff talking to. It’s unfortunately the way of the world.

    I think the focus should be on the fact that Hollywood choses to make these crap-tastic “women centric” films (staring women over 40, no less!) and then be upset when the reviews are bad. I wish they had thought about the fact that they had a cast of “older” hot women and worked with it rather than against it. Sad.

  3. Elisabeth,

    Sleeping around and subsequently crying about being called a “slut” is as foolish as tattooing my face and moaning about my inability to find adequate employment. If one chooses to live outside of societal mores he or she must either accept the associated criticism or conform. Bemoaning the name calling of a fickle and superficial industry is a fools errand. I fully acknowledge the issues of inequality in…well, in the world. Inequality is so prevalent that one could find its evidence anywhere one might look, but in this case the real issue is that of substandard cinema-nothing more. I must, however, tip my hat to your proper use of “whom,” as our beloved host used it improperly in her response. Cheers

  4. Interesting discussion … I should not comment but I just cant resist!

    The first thing that strikes me all along (article in the Guardian,the article on the blog and the comments) is that it is about movie. Movies are made to earn money (ok certain movies – this one being one of them). It’s a product like Pepsi Cola. My point is : I would not call for a discussion around is Pepsi Cola being “sexist”. If anything helps selling better the Pepsi marketing people will do it – including good and nasty things (as long it is legal). The caracters called “sluts” are fictional – arent they ?

    And all of a sudden the change to real people – Mr. Polanski, Mr. Tyson and Mr. Triers.

    And antother turn – back to fiction “Hot tub something”. I am feeling dizzy! What is this about ? Movies? Bad guys making movies? Making bad movies? I am lost!

    The second thought is less “epidermic” more of a self observation: ok – lots of movie promote, use and abuse stereotypes – among them are nasty ones like sexism, rasicm, glorification of violence ect. It is not new – it s the “Hollywood Machine” working those ways and making money – because it works.

    For me the real questions is : why does it work? What makes us an easy prey for this machinery (and I admit I am easy prey – I am just watching all those James Bond movies again and I wonder why I do that …) Why is it sticking ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s